Chew over diet tactics

Chewing food slowly helps you cut portion sizes.
Chewing food slowly helps you cut portion sizes. Contributed

ONE tactic some dieters use to shed kilos is chewing.

They chomp each bite as many as 50 times before swallowing.

But is chewing a legitimate way to shed weight?

An article published this year in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the chewing habits of obese versus lean men.

Researchers found that after 40 chews, the men took about 12% fewer calories than after 15 chews.

Even though the obese men's bites were smaller than the leaner men, the obese folks ate more calories overall.

Although this study shows promise, we need to remember that only 30 men were tested.

Another theory is that it takes the body 20 to 30 minutes to register that it's full and satisfied.

Chewing food slowly allows you to eat less food, giving enough time for the brain to realise that you're full.

Try this experiment.

Write down how hungry you are from a scale of one to 10, then eat a small vegetable salad or bowl of soup (like chicken or vegetable). Wait 20 to 30 minutes, and then write down again how hungry you are.

Many people are surprised to find how much less hungry they are.

The bottom line: chewing food doesn't magically melt the kilos. However, the research does point to the fact that chewing may be a helpful weight-loss technique.

You don't need to count every bite. Instead, stop rushing and take time to enjoy food.

Topics:  diet weight loss

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